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Butler County Health Care Center to host blood drive for Red Cross

November 29, 2018

The American Red Cross has issued an immediate call for blood donations because of an overall shortage.

The nonprofit supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, according to a Red Cross press release. In September and October, the Red Cross collected 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what was needed by hospitals.

“Every few seconds in the United States, someone needs a blood transfusion,” said Samantha Pollard, the Midwest communications manager at American Red Cross Blood. “It’s so important that we have a strong blood supply on an ongoing basis so we don’t have these shortages and have to scramble to make up the difference.”

The Red Cross is encouraging people of all blood types to make an appointment to donate. If interested in donating blood to the Red Cross, visit www.RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-733-2767 to make an appointment.

In response to the shortage, The Butler County Health Care Center, 372 S. Ninth St., is hosting a blood drive from noon through 6 p.m. on Dec. 4. The center was approached by the Red Cross to help with its blood donation efforts, according to a statement emailed to The Banner-Press from the center.

“Since we serve patients that are in need of blood products on a routine basis we felt it was important to be involved,” a center representative said through an emailed statement. “Being a host site for blood drives also makes donating blood more convenient for our employees.”

It is believed an additional 4,300 blood drives nationally are needed this winter in order to help meet the demand, according to a Red Cross press release. Pollard said 38 percent of people are eligible to donate blood, but only about 3 percent actually contribute.

Pollard said it’s common for blood donations to decline in the winter months due to the cold weather and people being busy with holiday activities and travel. She said the ongoing fires in California and October’s Hurricane Michael have also decreased the number of donations the organization would normally receive.

For rural Nebraska, Pollard said the wet weather this fall has deterred many from coming out to donate as they were preoccupied with the delayed harvest.

“Kind of just a perfect storm of a lot of things happening,” Pollard said.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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